This course provides an introduction into the principles of environmental economics, with a focus on policy applications. The principal problem in any economics course is how to best allocate scarce resources. This holds true for environmental economics as well. However, environmental resources differ from other goods that economists study in that there is usually no market for them. Thus, government policies are needed to maintain and improve environmental quality. Similar considerations will be made for natural resources, both exhaustible and renewable, where policies are needed to determine the optimal rate of exploitation.
An introduction to natural resource and environmental economics; The origins of the sustainability problem; Welfare economics and the environment; Pollution control: targets and instruments; Cost-benefit analysis; Valuing the environment; The efficient and optimal use of natural resources; The theory of optimal resource extraction: non-renewable resources; Stock pollution problems; Renewable resources; International environmental agreements.
Mathematics and Microeconomics
Math and Microeconomics Written exam. Problem sets might be distributed during the course. Students are requested to solve them and hand in the solutions. Depending on the number of students attending, a project and a presentation, either individually or as a group, may have to be prepared. Problem sets and project will be evaluated toward the final grade.
Materiale di riferimento
Power point presentations by the teacher will be made available on the course website. A textbook and additional readings will be suggested at the beginning of the course. Suggested textbooks are: 1) D.W. Pearce and R.K. Turner (1990), Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment, Harvester Wheatsheaf; 2) R.Perman, Y. Ma, M. Common, D.Maddison, J. Mcgilvray (2011), Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Pearson Education (4th edition) (more complete - more advanced).